Domestic Violence Lawyers in Tacoma Providing Clients with Respectful Legal Services
Regardless of the outcome of the criminal trial and the truth to the allegations, charges for domestic violence (DV) can be incredibly damaging to anyone’s reputation. Even if you can prove your case and establish that no violence was committed against your family or household members, whispers may always persist. The social stigma may follow the accused for years, making it more difficult for them to be approved for rental housing, obtain gainful employment, apply for loans, and pursue other various opportunities.
That is why it is so important that you get out ahead of the charges and pursue a criminal defense that considers all facets of how to win a successful case: both in a court of law and the court of public opinion.
An experienced criminal defense lawyer will provide legal services to not only seek the most favorable result for you and your domestic violence case but also seek to shield your legacy as much as possible within their power as well. At the law offices of South Sound Law Group, our attorneys have 40 years of experience providing criminal defense to clients whose legal rights are in jeopardy.
If you would like to speak in more detail about your case, please contact our law firm to schedule a confidential free initial consultation with members of our legal team.
How is the Crime of Domestic Violence Defined in the State of Washington?
Domestic violence is not a category of crime but is rather a further classification for a different crime. If a crime of violence or abuse is committed against what the state terms “family or household members,” then it may receive the DV designation. When a DV case goes to court, law enforcement and victim advocate groups encourage the courts to provide more care for the supposed victim and apply more aggression in pursuit of holding the accused accountable.
Additionally, a conviction for a domestic violence charge conviction may see new fines, sentencing, and other court orders tacked on. If convicted, the defendant will have to undergo domestic violence evaluations, be classified as a ‘batterer’, and may lose the right to own or carry a firearm.
Domestic violence can be charged concurrently with crimes such as:
- Assault in the first degree, second degree, third degree, and fourth degree.
- Assault with a deadly weapon.
- Child endangerment.
- Criminal trespassing.
- Drive-by shooting.
- Elder abuse.
- Kidnapping, abduction, unlawful imprisonment, or holding a person against their will.
- Malicious mischief.
- Rape, sexual assault, and other sex crimes.
- Spousal abuse.
- Violating a no-contact order.
How Does State Law Define a Family or Household Member in DV Allegations?
Washington State law says that domestic violence can only be carried out against a family member or someone who the accused is in a household relationship with.
Examples of a household member legally recognized for DV charges include:
- Adults related by blood or marriage.
- Romantic partners or former romantic partners.
- Roommates or former roommates.
- Spouse, either current or former.
- Stepparents, stepchildren, grandparents, and grandchildren.
- Unmarried individuals who had a child together.
While it is true that most domestic violence victims are women and the accused is more commonly a man, domestic violence is blind to gender, and a unique case could have anyone in the role of the victim and the accused.
What Are the Potential Penalties for a Domestic Violence Charge in Washington State?
The penalties largely vary depending on the particular facts of the case. The severity of the assault, the injuries, and the lasting damage done are the most important factors which are considered. Assault in the first degree is a Class A felony, which comes with it a maximum sentence of life in prison and fines up to $50,000.
Most cases of domestic assault are charged as a gross misdemeanor in Washington State, which is punishable with up to a year in jail and fines up to $5,000.
Other factors like a history of abuse, the relationship between the victim and the defendant, property damage (if any), and malicious mischief may further impact the sentencing.
In addition to jail time and fines, if convicted, the defendant may have a restraining order placed on them, meaning they cannot speak to or see the victim of their own accord. They may also lose gun rights and be required to undergo psychological assessments in addition to anger management classes.
Contact Our Law Firm to Schedule a Free Consultation with a Member of Our Legal Team
If you’ve been accused of domestic violence, abuse, or assault, it is vitally important that you speak with a criminal defense lawyer right away. Even if you believe that the facts are on your side and that you will, in the end, prove your case, this legal situation is not something that can be taken lightly. You must tread carefully and be prepared for things to get ugly as you attempt to clear your name.
But you don’t have to do it alone.
The attorneys of South Sound Law Group have represented clients in and around Tacoma, WA, for decades now. Our lawyers provide successful criminal defense strategies and help our clients make well-informed decisions during the complicated legal process. While no results can be guaranteed, our criminal defense attorneys are confident, knowledgeable, respectful, and experienced. We believe our legal team is well suited to help you through a troubling situation such as a domestic violence accusation.
If you have any questions or concerns, our law firm offers a free case evaluation to all prospective clients, and you can take comfort knowing that the confidential attorney-client relationship protects the details discussed.
To schedule your free consultation, call our Tacoma, WA law offices at 253-383-3328.